Kelowna left out of Pacific Pacific Railway start-up deal

Freight service will be limited to between Lumby and Kamloops under new agreement reached by CN.

  • Sep. 27, 2013 4:00 p.m.

Service for Kelowna will not be part of a bid by CN to start service on major portion of bankrupt Kelowna Pacific Railway Ltd. rail lines after reaching agreements with bankruptcy trustee, customers and Teamsters Canada Rail Conference units

CN announced Thursday plans to start up the freight service on about 75 per cent of the rail network operated by bankrupt short-line Kelowna Pacific Railway Ltd., resuming operations for the portion of the KPR network running from Campbell Creek, located 15 kilometres east of Kamloops, to Vernon, Lumby and Lumby Junction.

KPR, which leased its network from CN in 1999, entered receivership on July 5, 2013, and halted operations. Besides the bankruptcy trustee, Tolko Industries, the main customer of the rail line, along with the  Teamsters Canada Rail Conference (TCRC) and TCRC-Maintenance of Way Employees Division (TCRC-MWED) representing the 35 locomotive engineers, conductors and track maintenance workers employed by the insolvent B.C. short-line railway, signed off on the deal.

Jim Vena, CN executive vice-president and chief operating officer, said: “I’m pleased to say that the parties were able to come together to assemble the right business and labour conditions to justify the resumption of rail traffic on the major portion of the KPR as well as a sizeable capital investment required to protect rail service in the region. We are targeting the resumption of operations as soon as we can ensure the track is brought back to a standard to ensure safe train operations.”

CN will discontinue track KPR operated between Lumby Junction and Kelowna  because of insufficient freight traffic. The 60-day discontinuance process under the Canada Transportation Act will start later this week.

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